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alone. it's been prove bid the judge of the fisa court and has been known to member of the committee and the intelligence committee at the time that the section 215 authority was renewed. >> as i understand that. as i understand that. it's been part of the problem we've had is that until recently most people didn't have any idea about those. we have had significant constraints that limited our ability to explain why some of us had concerns with the patriot act. why some of us on both sides of the aisle voted against reauthorizing the patriot act. we were unable to speak about this publicly. we have secret procedures being undertaken pursuant to secret law. it has been a bit of a problem. now what would you say then -- getting to you, mr. cole. to my constituents, as i understand what you're saying, we're collecting it but not looking tat. we're collecting it but not closing our eyes. don't worry about that. what would you say to my constituent's saying it's not government's information. it doesn't make it relevant under the law. it still doesn't meet what many of my constituents beli
on legislation to revise the fisa court. what are the main approaches of this massive surveillance operation the u.s. is running. >> i supported al franken and udall on making the rules and orders and opinions on the fisa court which are disclosed. senator franken's effort on the numbers of certain kinds of invasive actions by the government. my focus is equally important on the process. on the fisa court itself, how is it selected? right now it's only by the chief justice of the united states supreme court, john roberts, acting alone without any kind of review. >> just so folks are clear here, the foreign surveillance intelligence act set up this secret court. the court itself is secret, the judges are appointed by john roberts in secret. there is no adversarial process. it's simply a government lawyer coming before this secretly appointed judge with no one on the other side. >> that's right, and that's the second important element of my program, which is that there should be some adversarial process there, should be some kind of special advocate who takes the point of view on the facts and
the fisa system. do you believe that there are insufficient checks to outweigh the concerns that some have about the appointment of an independent counsel? if you have touched on this in earlier questions, i apologize. you mention this with regard to independent counsel. in the second panel, mr. baker raise concerns with the independent counsel. can you give me your thoughts about whether or not it is needed? >> this is a topic being discussed within the administration and congress as one avenue that might be available. traditionally, when you issue search warrants and wiretaps, you do not have an absurd a process that takes place. -- an adversary process that takes place. there's not someone on the other side. there is a legal tradition that the way we have been doing it is one that we have done in other context. we have a court involved. that is unusual, as it was pointed out. --iculously within a foreign particularly within a foreign intelligence context. to have the courtsthis is something that we are involved at all. open to having discussions about. what the utility and the role woul
transparency but not to get too far. if you go to full transparency, you will have zero security. >> fisa -- >> they should have held hearings. it should've have been a more robust oversight board. now they will, that is good. the inspectors general can give more generic reports. congressional oversight committees, intelligence committees can talk about the subjects they are looking at without disclosing sources. john mclaughlin noted we do oversight hearings. even on the fisa court i would disagree with some of the panelists. they can release some things. they can release how many cases they get, how many are denied, how many are sent back for review. you can have periodic review by other bipartisan commissions that have credibility. you can do it incrementally but it is going to be difficult to swim against the general tide distrust of government. i would also be remiss if i didn't say i could not disagree with anthony romero more that snowden did as a service. i think he did this country and incredible disservice. we are now going to have slightly more transparency and better oversight
to come out, the role of the foreign intelligence surveillance, or fisa, court has come under increasing scrutiny. we take a closer look now. the story of the court goes back to 1978. the senate's church committee among others had chronicled surveillance abuses by the government brought to light in the watergate scandal. one response: congress created the court to review warrants for national security investigations. proceedings are closed and many years and several amendments later, the snowden disclosures of surveillance by the n.s.a. have raised new questions. on sunday, for example, the senate's democratic majority whip-- dick durbin-- argued the court is hardly impartial. >> and there should be another in this case, it's fixed in a way, it's loaded. there's only one case coming before the fisa, the government's case. let's have an advocate for someone standing up for civil liberties to speak up about the privacy of americans when they make each of these decisions. >> brown: but at today's senate hearing, deputy attorney general james cole said there's no clear precedent for changing
these thousands of violations for the report. we hoped that the fisa court would be a stopgap. but what the article says is that in another case, the foreign intelligence surveillance court which has authority over some nsa operations did not learn about a new collection med until it was in operation for many months. then the court when they learned about it, they ruled it it unconstitutional. so the gap between what they are doing and when they serve it it up to the court is another egregious violation in thmy min. >> this whole process that this administration has let get to this point really does have to be reviewed. i recognize a need for a lawful and efficient nsa operation. i think it's critical to the national security. but i do understand that there are bounds under which they are required not to cross, limits that they are required not to cross, and they can't cross those under the law and they shouldn't cross them. if the court needs more tools because we're counting on the fisa court to make sure that those bounds are not exceeded f that court needs more tools it it ought to
about section 702 of fisa, which authorizes the collection of to medications of foreigners overseas. i do not condone the way these and other highly classified programs are disclosed. i am concerned about the potential damage of intelligence gathering capabilities and national security. it is appropriate to hold people accountable for allowing such a massively to occur. we need to examine how to print this type of reach in the future. in the wake of these leaks, the president said this is an opportunity to have an open and thoughtful debate about these issues. i will come that statement because this is a debate that several of us on this committee and both parties have been trying to have for years. i will get the classified briefings but you cannot talk about them. a lot of these things that should be and can be discussed. we're going to have the debate that the president called for and the executive branch has been a full partner. we need straightforward answers. i am concerned we are not getting them. just recently the director of national intelligence acknowledged he invited false
expanded fisa, given the government sweeping powers to collect information on law-abiding americans. we must carefully consider whether those laws may have gone too far. last month americans learned for the first time the one of these 215 of the, section u.s. patriot act has for years been secretly interpreted to authorize collection of phone records. information was leaked about section 202. collectrizes the nsa to communications overseas. the way thatone these programs were disclosed. i'm concerned about the to oural damage intelligence capabilities and national security. it is appropriate to hold people accountable for allowing such a massive leak to occur. we need to examine how to prevent this type of reach in the future. , thee wake of the leaks president said this is an opportunity to have an open and thoughtful debate about these issues. i welcome that statement. this is a debate that several of us on the committee have been trying to have for years. some of the others will get the classified briefings, but then you can't talk about them. if we're going to have the debate that t
otherthan operation in our country today. it is watch on a regular basis i the fisa court. i do not think we need a fisa court. has thethe president power as commander-in-chief to carry out these operations. that is what president bush claimed in the early to thousands. that is what the court has said. the reality is we will have a fisa court. in any event, it is monitored on a regular basis. 30 day reports. six month reports. if when they are tracking -- last year, only 300 times were they had to drill down a numbers -- if they make a mistake and put the wrong digit , they have to do a full report on that. they have to purge everything they got. they have to file a report with that one explaining human error that was made. that is the type of scrutiny that it is under. my experience on the intelligence committee with the nsa was, what we heard over the last several years before any of this broke, with all of the allegations being made about security over the last 12 years, the nsa hardly ever came up. they were attacking dick cheney, george bush, waterboarding, the fbi and others, and the n
by talking about the 2011 fisa court ruling that was recently released by the obama administration. in it the nsa said it was stepping out of the shadowing by having this part released because it wanted to show that it operates lawfuly and fixes mistakes when detected. i asked if he thinks that statement is true. >> no. i basically believe all the fisa court orders to do domestic spying are basically general warrants and they're in violation of the constitution that is the right to privacy, fourth amendment principally but also the first amendment in terms of -- by giving that data the what it does is tells them who is associated with who internally in the united states. that's violating the right of free association under the first amendment. >> so when you have, however, on the other hand, you have john bates the judge having this scathing rhetoric within those court documents. what does that do? does that kind of solidify or not solidify the idea of the fisa court being a rubber stamp court? >> well, what -- the fisa court coming out and saying they really have no way of verifyi
on the foreign intelligence actor for fisa. congress has repeatedly expanded the scope of fisa and has given the power to collect information on the law-abiding americans. we must carefully consider whether they have gone too far. last month, they learned for the first time that one of these authorities, section 215 of the u.s. a patriot act has been secretly interpreted to authorize unprecedented on scale. information was also leaked about the section 702 on fisa which authorizes the nsa to collect the communications of the forerunners -- foreigners overseas. i am concerned about the potential damage capabilities and national security. it's appropriate to hold people accountable for holding such a massive leak to occur. we need to examine how to prevent this kind of breach in the future. in the week the president said this is an opportunity to have an open and a thoughtful debate about these issues and i offer that statement because this is a debate several of us have been trying to have for years. i will get the classified briefings but then you can't talk about them so what of the things
, then ask us for funding. specifically what we need is more visibility into the fisa court rulings. we understand the need for secrecy in ongoing investigations, but we need to know how the fisa court is interpreting the laws that congress has written. we need oversight over that from congress and we need redirected and declassified versions of those fisa court rulings for the public. >> what are your thoughts about russia granting temporary asylum to edward snowden, who really started this ball rolling are what the intelligence officials of this country from keith alexander to james clapper have long tonight, but now admitted they were not telling the truth about the u.s. is spying on americans? >> clearly, his disclosures have changed the course of human history, really. i think his initial disclosures were a service to our country because now we are having this conversation. and we wouldn't be having this conversation. i can't speak for mr. snowden's actions now, he is basically a person looking out for his own life at this point, but what he did initially was a service to our count
program. to target the communications of a u.s. person under fisa anywhere in the world requires a showing of probable cause to a federal judge. turning to the 215 prpl, we call it the 215 program because it's conducted pursuant to section 215 of the patriot act. that provision allows the director of the fbi to a apply the fisk to obtain business records that may be relevant to an authorized national security investigation. the fbi uses this provision for lots of different things. the only program nsa uses it for in connection with the fbi is the business records metadata program we're discussing today. so what is that program all ant? before i get into the details, i think it would be helpful to understand what is the point of the program and why did it evolve. so in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, one of the major issues that was exposed was a seam between our foreign intelligence collection and our domestic counterterrorism methods. do the u.s. government over the past decade has taken a number of efforts to address this dwield, some of them institutional, some of them utilizing cert
administration and the recommendation of the church commission. it set up a careful system of a fisa court, an intelligence committee on the hill was set up then to monitor these applications. it worked very well, in my view, through 2001. congress after that pulled it back. i believe strongly that may the amount of metadata is excessive. i am sure my buddy thinks this. that ought to be debated. maybe the program should be narrowed. there has been robust oversight over the years. >> i want to be clear on this. who can accesses data and for what purposes? >> i think this was in a letter that went to the hill yesterday. papers were sent to congress in 2009. i cannot speak to any individual member of congress that is currently now with the knowledge of the program. in terms of access, access is strictly controlled. in order to create the data, one has to have reasonable suspicion that there is a tie to a specific terrorist group that is identified in the court order. >> just a terrorist group. if there is a foreign espionage group and i think my target is about to leave united states, i need
the underlying patriot act and the fisa amendments of 2008. i voted against the reauthorization of the so-called patriot act because i believed it was too loosely written, there was room for abuse. so i think we need to undertake lots of reforms. the amendment, i don't think, did the trick, frankly. i think there are much more important things we need to be doing. >> so are you comfortable with the fact what we know now, which is that the nsa does take in every phone call number in america on a daily basis, brings it all in, keeps it in case they need to go look at it, they'll need a judge's okay for that and now we're learning that, yeah, they did make mistakes, some of which were in violation of the constitution, a judge later found out. and yet 3,000 instances, 2,000 instances not big, except some of those instances involved 3,000 americans whose e-mails or phone calls were then monitored. >> right. and i think we need to make reforms to prevent that from happening. in fact i'm working on an initiative to do exactly that. so there's a distinction to be made between the collection of ra
-secret fisa court stepped in and ordered the nsa to change its collection methods. for more on this topic i was joined earlier by a senior attorney at the center for constitutional rights in new york and by brian dugan, technologist at the open technology institute in d.c. and i started by asking bryan about the government's claim that it is not fully aware of the extent of edward snowden's leaks. >> it is incredibly disturbing that they do not know what was taken, no audit trail was created. that is the type of abrogation of trust that the united states government needs to restore and that is why the president of the united states needs to instate an independent, external council of experts to review the nsa spying. on all these systems that edward snowden was using, they, by default, should be creating audit trails of every single action of every single administrator on the machine. edward snowden was not the top- level administrator of this machine. he happened to have access across domains at a top-secret security level. there is no excuse for any administrator to not keep logs of that
was right when he said fisa courts demanded it makes changes to its surveillance program. "the guardian" has a story about efforts to wring nsa into compliance with court orders. using new leaks from edward snowden, they uncovered that the nsa paid millions of taxpayer dollars to technology companies so these internet businesses would be in complianceith the fisa ruling. that is not the only development humming out of the leaks today. -- coming out of the leaks today. "the independent" came out with a story about a secret service base run by the united kingdom in the least. the paper did not reveal the act sacked -- exact location. that is -- snowden had this response. "i have never spoken with, worked with, or provided any journalistic material to the independent. they are doing so by intentionally leaking harmful information attitude it to others -- and attributing it to others." "the independent" denies this. neil mcbride is leaving his post. his office is currently in the national spotlight or a probe into the virginia governor and his family for allegedly accepting hundreds of thousand
or fisa court. the collection was done under section 702. this is the collection that looks overseas at foreign internet communications, so foreign emails. the nsa did not have a good means technically speaking to separate out from that collection the information that was being put forth on the internet by u.s. persons. so you had what was called bundled communications. so when you open up your computer, and you look at your email, you see 20 emails down the screen. if one had come from a bad actor, the nsa was looking at overseas, they pulled down everything on that screen. what the fisa court said at the time when they were alerted to what was a significant collection problem, the judge said, quote, for the first time, the government has now advised the court the volume and nature of the information, it, the nsa, has been collecting is fundamentally different from what the court had been led to believe. shortly after that, the nsa we were told on background was trying to work with congress to make changes to salvage that information. >> shepard: not only was the nsa spying on every
system to get a warrant. remember, the theme of this whole story has been that the fisa court is a rubber stamp. now the story today is, look at how the fisa court slammed the nsa, sort of like we have to pick which boat we want to ride on. the story today, the opinion today goes to underscore what folks like i have been saying all along, that the fisa court is not only looking at warrants, they are looking at the entire process of the system, and what was done in this application to say we want to keep going with the process is the fisa court went into extremely excruciating detail about is the nsa complying with the fourth amendment and the law? they found that, as you go down the system, what they are -- in the vast majority of it, but they have this one element of the program -- >> mean not getting americans' data if they can? >> no, not getting it kept in the system. that's it. >> right. >> and what they want is, no, that's not in compliance. >> okay. >> so the nsa went away and fixed it a month later. that's what we're dealing with, and they reported it to congress a month after tha
aftermath of the and acts. the fisa i want to start off, though, admiral, with something related, that touches on the advertising subject of the panel today. certainly the intelligence community has an enormous number am prepareds, and i to accept him having read some of the documents, you know, i am reconfirmed in this is that there are a lot of things that cannot be talked about. never the less, while we recently learned that we are collecting a lot more documents than the public was aware of, the u.s. government was unable to connect the dots sufficiently on the tsarnaev brothers, even though they had been brought to the attention in advance. what do you make of that, and what do you see as the implications and what we just heard from asked carter brought the recent departmentalization of intelligence information? >> there are really two assets of this. one is having the information available so that it can be collected, analyzed, and turned the other isand the process of bringing it together. where relevant information is available have that the oldpread, days when you could
talking about the fisa courts and nsa. i've got to ask you what you've learned. you're on the intelligence committee. where do you stand on this? do you think the nsa has been transparent enough? do you think the fisa courts are transparent enough? are you for this kind of surveillance that the nsa is involved with? and did this surveillance help us in this case, learning about this plot? >> in terms of the fisa court, no, i don't think the fisa court is transparent enough. i don't think they have any idea who sits on the fisa court. i think we'll be better off in a process where they're nominated by the president, confirmed. i think there should be an advocate for the privacy interests of the american people before that court. in terms of the programs themselves, the biggest question i have is about the meta data program. i've been urging nsa really for quite some time, that they ought to allow the telecommunications companies to hold their own data. and then we would only go to them when we had specific and or ti or tick u latable facts. the vast majority of telephone records within the
are reported to the oversight committees and the fisa court in a timely and comprehensive manner and that appropriate steps are taken to ensure violations are not repeated. the report stems from an nsa audit obtained by the post from leaker edward snowden. kelly o'donnell joins me now. what kind of privacy violations are we talking about? >> what we're learning so far, these are not instances of eavesdropping on conversations or reading e-mails. it's not that kind of thing. it's that big sweeping data collection we've been hearing a lot about in the last few months. phone numbers or those kind of data were swept up while the nsa was looking for foreign intelligence targets. sometimes this was sort of sloppy, unintentional mistakes where they put in the wrong area code and swept up a bunch of numbers that way or they had some sort of break in their own procedure. some of it, apparently, unintentional. but in some instances, the audits found that there were cases where they went too far and sometimes the fisa court that does oversee this pushed back and said they needed to adjust w
-gathering on americans was strictly limited and tightly overseen by the foreign intelligence surveillance-- or fisa-- court. but today, the "washington post" reported the spy agency has overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since congress expanded the agency's powers in 2008, and the fisa court's chief judge told the "post" his court doesn't have the ability to independently verify if the spy agency is complying fully with privacy-protection rules. the report was based on documents leaked by former n.s.a. contractor edward snowden. "washington post" correspondent carol leonnig worked on both stories and joins me now. carol, welcome. >> thank you, margaret. >> warner: first of all, what, sort of information has the n.s.a. been collecting and storing on americans that is beyond the scope of the law or the court rules? >> the court's rules are very strict on several things, but the most important is not intruding on americans' privacy when there is no reason to suspect that they have some link to terrorist organizations or are in communication with foreign powers. and the violat
to the fisa and said, we have a new idea, based on the patriot act. we can authorize investigations under a fisa order, in secret. it could get all the records of all telephone calls. international, national, and purely local. how does that fit with the boundaries the american people would expect, in terms of privacy? >> it is under debate whether we have gone too far in storing and holding that information. maybe congress will revisit that. why would we do it? you asked us about the boston marathon. one reason you would do it is, you have all that data. tsarnaev brother, and find out the phone numbers of people they have been in , and with in chechnya bounce them against these numbers you have on file. maybe you will find other people who have been following the same numbers in the database. we have to emphasize this. it is not monitoring the content of american conversations. never has been. never will be. you can only do that if you have got a warrant from a judge. couldn't you, having received the tip about the , sent that to the telephone companies and so on? let's have your records.
something wrong, there is going to be a congressman or senator or a fisa court or an inspector general, there is going to be a general counsel, there is going to be a civil liberties protection officer, it that all of them, you can snow them all, and none will figure out that something is wrong, but in my experience, that is far from the case. i think the oversight is working in making sure people follow the rules. your question, is oversight working in terms of giving the public faith that the government is following the rules? i do think that is where we have a failing. -- it isot independent not an independent problem of government. look at polls of how much people trust congress. not especially high. there is a lack of faith in people doing things right. i think you can increase transparency. you cannot take it too far. if you go to full transparency like we do in other areas, we will have zero security. >> what can you do? the executive branch, what can you change? host: >> both administrations should have embraced the president civil liberties oversight board earlier than they di
this government has access to under the 2008 fisa amendments. tell us about it. >> when the president goes on a late night talk show and says we have no domestic spying program he is being deceptive at best and unright untruthful at worse. it is clear not only from what snowden told us but from the documents that snowden revealed and i have seen the ones that he made public that the president asked fisa court to authorize massive spying on virtually every american that uses the internet or the telephone. that spying consisted of capturing the content of communications. >> laura: they say it's only content it. they always have an explanation. it's only content if you have specific selector words that are used that somehow key you to the, quote targets abroad. >> they basically say it's only content but we won't go there unless we think we have to go there. they can't go there without a warrant from a judge identifying the person quote particularly describing what is to be searched based on probable cause. they can't lawfully collect content without a search warrant as well. remember they in
with senator paul that the fisa court needs to hear both sides that we have to have a special advocate. a specific blueprint that i have offered which the president seemed to endorse. >> sing you bring it up, nsa director keith alexander was there at the end of last month, that they are complying with the law and there are appropriate checks and balances. i think it is important to understand the strict oversight that goes in on these programs. the assumption is that people are out there wheeling and dealing and nothing could be further from the truth. we have tremendous oversight and compliance with these programs. >> congressman, you are a staunch defender of these programs. it is clear that mistakes are being made and in many cases they are not reporting those mistakes. i fully disagree with what senator rand paul said. that was a grab bag coming from him. take rand paul's own numbers. it is not really true. but assume he is right for once. you jux oppose that with violations which were self reported. you are talking about 1900 of them being foreigners when they came to the u.s. it
to repeal the patriot act and the fisa amendments act. throughout my career, and this campaign, i have been advancing the bold ideas that we need to extend the american dream to all americans. bold ideas people will be talking about tonight. >> thank you very much. sheila oliver. opportunityate the to engage in dialogue with my opponents in this quest to fill the seat of the late senator frank lautenberg. voters ofope that the new jersey listen intently this evening as we focus on issues that are not just important to capitol hill, but also those issues that are important to the people that live in the state. as a u.s. senator, you have an obligation to engage in moving the agenda of the nation forward, but you should also use that representation to help move an agenda forward for the state of new jersey, and its citizens. as a legislative leader, i have visited the length and breadth of the state, engage with communities from cape may up to just during at campaign. i think that my 10 years in the state legislature and my four of the newe speaker jersey general assembly had equipped me with
nsa contractor edward snowden including reforms to the patriot act and the fisa court. i want to bring in our panel now here in new york is msnbc political analyst joan walsh, and nbc contributor jonathan alter. and in pennsylvania, nbc contributor professor james peterson of lehigh university. joan, your immediate reaction to the president's comments on the surveillance program. were you satisfied by the four proposals that he offered as ways of improving and extending oversight? >> i don't know that i'm entirely satisfied, but i think it's a big step forward. >> cause you've been critical of the program yourself. >> i've been critical myself. i was happy to see the proposed addition of some sort of adversarial advocate to the fisa discussions. i think that that's a very interesting idea that some advocates have proposed. i think he kind of hurt himself. it was substantiative, but some of his rhetoric is going to come back to bite him comparing, proving that he did the dishes to michelle to proving to the american people that he's not, you know, abusing his powers and being big brothe
the secret fisa court, the court that approves these surveillance programs and does so with only one party. that's the government appearing before it. and obama said he was willing to consider a system where there would be someone else there to leapt the other side, presumably the public interest. that could conceivably be an important step. the devil is in the details in terms of how that person is appointed. what information that person has access to. what cases that person could actual participate in. we'll have to see. then there was talk about changes to the patriot act, but that talk was entirely nonspecific. it's impossible to evaluate whether the president is contemplating any meaningful changes. >> one thing i was interested in in president obama's mention of changing the fisa court, one of the problems folks have identified, one of the problems you've talked about in some interviews is every one of the judges on it is appointed directly by the chief justice. at the moment that means all 11 justices or judges are appointed by chief justice john roberts. now, there's legislation in
intelligence court, that's the fisa court, and the creation of a task force of private citizens. joining me this morning barton gellman of "the washington post" who has been writing extensively about edward snowden and the nsa, special correspondent for nbc news ted koppel, and the chairman of the house homeland security committee, republican congressman mike mccaul. barton gellman, let me start with you. has edward snowden won? has he accomplished what he set out to do, which is not only get a debate going but force change in these programs? >> he has accomplished far more than anyone in his position could have reasonably hoped to have accomplished. he told me his greatest fear was that he would come out and do this and whole story would be -- you know, roiling around for a day and it would be gone. now you have president obama being forced to say that he welcomes the debate, which he welcomes sort of like the ceo who gets an angry letter yet writes back and says thank you for your interest in our surveillance programs. but it's top of the ageneral da for two months. >> the president spoke
king. i do, by the way, agree with senator paul that the fisa court needs to hear both sides that we have to have a special advocate. i'm very pleased that he has endorsed the concept. in fact, the specific blueprint that i have offered for a special advocate in the fisa courts which also the president seemed to endorse in his statement last week. >> john: since you bring it up. let me switch gears and go the to latest revelations about the nsa. keith alexander was in las vegas at the end of last month. again, he gave assurances that the nsa is complying with the law and that there are appropriate checks and balances. here is what he said. >> i think it's important to understand the strict oversight that goes in on these programs. because the assumption is that people are out there just wheeling and dealing. and nothing could be further from the truth. we have tremendous oversight and compliance in these programs. >> john: congressman king you are a staunch defender of the nsa and its programs. you quality people who work there quote patriots but would also appear very clear that mis
Search Results 0 to 49 of about 288 (some duplicates have been removed)